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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Tuesday
Jul122016

Unanimous Decision: UFC Owners Sell Majority Interest To WME | IMG For $4B

By Barry Janoff

July 11, 2016: Hot on the heels of what might have been its most successful, and most controversial, event, the owners of Ultimate Fighting Championship have sold a majority interest in their business to WME | IMG for $4 billion.

UFC, founded in  1993, was acquired in 2000 by Lorenzo Fertitta, Chairman and CEO, and his brother, Frank Fertitta, from Semaphore Entertainment Group for $2 million, according to industry analysts. The Fertitta's operate UFC out of Las Vegas under the auspices of Zuffa LLC.

The UFC transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Lorenzo Fertitta will step down from day-to-day operations, but both Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta will "retain a passive minority interest in the organization," according to Beverly Hills, Calf.-based WME | IMG.

Dana White will remain as UFC president.

UFC 200, held in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night (July 9), saw the return of icon Brock Lesner (who defeated Mark Hunt), Amanda Nunes take the women's bantamweight title from Miesha Tate and light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier defeat Anderson Siliva in a non-title bout.

The event was held in front of more than 18,200 fans and took in a live game of $10.7 million, according to UFC. PPV buys are expected to top 1.5 million (numbers are still being crunched).

It also was fraught with controversy, including headliner Jon "Bones" Jones being pulled off the card due to failing a drug test. Previously, Conor McGregor was left off of the UFC 200 card due to internal conflicts with UFC executives.

UFC fights air in more than 150 countries and all 50 states in the U.S. with the recent addition of New York, which lifted its ban earlier this year. The UFC's visibility has risen significantly over the past two years due to the likes of McGregor, Cormier, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm and Frankie Edgar.

UFC official alliances include Reebok and EA Sports.

"No other sport compares to UFC," White said in a statement. "Our goal has always been to put on the biggest and the best fights for our fans, and to make this the biggest sport in the world. I'm looking forward to working with WME | IMG to continue to take this sport to the next level."

Among its roster, WME | IMG owns, operates or has official alliances in entertainment, fashion, action sports, baseball, basketball, college sports, football, golf, motorsports, the Olympics and tennis.

"We've been fortunate over the years to represent UFC and a number of its remarkable athletes," WME | IMG co-CEOs Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell said in a statement. "It's been exciting to watch the organization's incredible growth over the last decade under the leadership of the Fertitta brothers, Dana White and their dedicated team.

"We're now committed to pursuing new opportunities for UFC and its talented athletes to ensure the sport's continued growth and success on a global scale."

Silver Lake Partners and KKR will join WME | IMG as new strategic investors, along with MSD Capital, L.P. and MSD Partners, L.P. which will provide preferred equity financing.

"We're now committed to pursuing new opportunities for UFC and its talented athletes to ensure the sport's continued growth and success on a global scale."

UFC said that since its centennial event in 2009, its has "undertaken a number of measures to increase awareness among fans globally, expanding its presence in Europe, Latin America and Asia, and adding women's divisions."

IMG said it produces more than 52,000 hours of sports programming and arranges to distribute an additional 32,000 hours on behalf of more than 200 clients including The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (Wimbledon), NFL, Premier League, Major League Soccer and Euroleague.

The group also operates IMG Academy, one of the largest sports training institutions in the world.

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